The megadrought plaguing the western U.S. will likely continue as high heat and dry conditions reciprocally exacerbate each other, NOAA predicted in its spring seasonal outlook Thursday. “Drought has increased, especially in the West as it has warmed,” Deke Arndt, NOAA’s climate science and services chief, told the AP. “The reason the West is warming is climate change, especially over the multiple decade timeframe.” Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion, fuels higher temperatures and makes droughts more frequent and severe. The current megadrought, which is the worst since Charlamagne, is now in its third decade. Hot drought conditions also set the stage for supercharged wildfires, Brad Pugh, a drought meteorologist with the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said. (AP, New York Times $, CBS; Climate Signals background: Drought, Wildfires)